04/08/2015 17:34 BST | Updated 04/08/2016 06:59 BST

Holiday Preparations Before and After Kids

We are going on holiday tomorrow, it will be our littlest's first time on a plane. We have ventured out of the country before but our preferred destination is France. Largely because you can get there via a car filled to the brim with stuff that makes them happy. This time around we are limited to the amount we can squeeze into our suitcases, which gives me the fear because... considering packing, is it actually worth going on holiday?

The last few days have been spent in preparation mode, I've been sourcing kids crocs on eBay rather than hunting down the perfect shimmery sun tan cream and it got me thinking about how different pre-holiday preparations are now that we have children...

Researching the destination

  • Before kids: Look up nice bars, restaurants and cultural places of interest to visit.
  • After kids: That place you booked because it said it was 'child friendly' and had decent Wi-Fi? Now look up what country it's actually in. Then look up the nearest A&E.


  • Before kids: Download some new music and order 3 books from Amazon for relaxing by the pool.
  • After kids: Charge the i-Pad to within an inch of it's life and fill it with an abundance of irritating crap. Don't bother with anything for yourself because your entertainment can consist purely of making sure your kids don't drown.


  • Before kids: Allocate the evening before for a beautifying session. Have a nice bath, shave legs, paint toes, apply fake tan. RELAX.
  • After kids: Allocate the evening before to have a fight about who was meant to book the airport parking (not me!) before angrily clipping your toenails and butchering your legs with a manky blunt razor.


  • Before kids: Select day time outfits AND evening outfits. Take double the amount of clothes than it is actually possible to wear including numerous pairs of shoes with varying heel heights.
  • After kids: Fill up one whole suitcase with nappies, factor 50 sun cream and Calpol and fill up the rest with kids clothes, kids spare clothes, blow up items, plastic beach crap, black-out blinds, special cups and 26 absolutely vital toys that cannot possibly be left behind. Then cram three £5 dresses from Primark, your trusty five-year-old bikini and some multi purpose daytime/evening flip flops in the suitcase least likely to burst whilst muttering 'what's the f*cking point' at regular intervals.

Getting to the airport

  • Before kids: Chat excitedly in the car on the way to the airport and arrive feeling relaxed and excited about your trip.
  • After kids: Cry. Don't talk unless it's in swear words. Intermittently throw sweets into the back of the car to appease your overtired offspring who decided to sleep past 5am on the ONE DAY that you needed to leave the house at 5am. Arrive at the airport on the brink of divorce covered in a ridiculous amount of children, luggage, car seats and buggies, looking like a demented goddam camel. Feel glad that at airports it's socially acceptable to drink 24/7. Have a pint with your McDonalds breakfast, things are looking up...



Check out Katie's illustrated blog Hurrah For Gin or like her Facebook Page for more tales of parenting woe and wonder!